Watched it tonite on The History Channel. I've always been fascinated about Chinese foot-binding, which the series addresses. Amazing to what lengths people will go to be fashionable and sexy. (Reminds me a bit of "Dr. 90102." )
Foot-binding went on for centuries and basically hobbled the woman.From among many articles out there (reference notes omitted):
"The process of foot binding started for the young girls anywhere from the age of four to six. It was done so early in her life so that the arch did not have much time to develop. The mother . . . was the one to bind the feet, and usually started the process late in the fall or winter, so the foot would be numb and the pain would not be as severe. The daughters' feet would first be soaked in warm water or animal blood and herbs. The special potion that was used for this caused any dead flesh to fall off. She would have her toe nails cut as short as possible therefore not allowing them to grow into the foot. After she received a foot massage, the four smallest toes on each foot were broken. This was not even the worst of the pain. The mother soaked silk or cotton bandages in the same liquid the girl's feet were soaked in. The bandages, which were ten feet long and two inches wide, were wrapped around the smallest toes and pulled tightly to the heel. Every two days, the binding was removed and rebound. This part of the process went on for two years. By this time her feet were three to four inches long. To assure the feet staying small, the ritual continued for at least ten more years."